Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Left Loses its Collective Mind

title="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/13/washington/13cnd-leak.html?ei=5090&en=f7fad582498bbbc5&ex=1307851200&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/13/washington/13cnd-leak.html?ei=5090&en=f7fad582498bbbc5&ex=1307851200&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all">It Ain't So, Joe

On the first day of Fitzmas
Fitzgerald gave to me
An indictment of Scooter Libby

On the second day of Fitzmas
Fitzgerald gave to me
Uh, nothing! Damn it!

Well, that was quite a kerfuffle, wasn't it? Let's flash back to July 2003, when The Nation's David Corn relayed Joe Wilson's claim that the White House had "leaked" the name of his wife, Valerie Plame:

Without acknowledging whether she is a deep-cover CIA employee, Wilson says, "Naming her this way would have compromised every operation, every relationship, every network with which she had been associated in her entire career. This is the stuff of Kim Philby and Aldrich Ames." . . .

Under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, it is a crime for anyone who has access to classified information to disclose intentionally information identifying a covert agent. The punishment for such an offense is a fine of up to $50,000 and/or up to ten years in prison.

Wilson famously said he would like to "get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs." The New York Times and other liberal editorial pages demanded the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate who gave accurate information to journalists, though it apparently didn't occur to them that finding that out would entail calling journalists to testify. (Now they are vigorously defending their First Amendment right to disclose things that really are secret.) The Justice Department complied.

Today Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, told the Times that the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, had formally advised Rove that he will not be charged. It appears the investigation is over, except for the forthcoming trial of Scooter Libby on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice--wrongdoing that allegedly took place entirely after the investigation began.

This has got to be the worst day for the Angry Left since at least last Thursday. It would not be an exaggeration to call the left's enthusiasm over the Plame kerfuffle a case of mass hysteria. For months they have been awaiting "Fitzmas," the day that the grand jury handed up indictments of Rove and--who knows?--maybe even the vice president himself.

Sorry, guys.

Anyway, look around the Web and you can find examples of the Angry Left going through the five stages of grieving:

  • Denial. Truthout.org (motto: "If you want the truth, get out of here") "reports" that Rove actually has been indicted. "As of Friday afternoon that indictment, returned by the grand jury the week of May 10th, remains under seal--more than a month after it was handed up by the grand jury. The case number is "06 cr 128." On the federal court's electronic database, '06 cr 128' is listed along with a succinct summary: 'No further information is available.' " Says blogress Christy Smith: "Unless and until I hear it from Patrick Fitzgerald, the investigation continues to be ongoing. Which means that there are still potential developments down the road."

  • Bargaining. "This latest news doesn't prove or disprove the basic question of whether Fitzgerald was ready to indict Rove," claims Duncan "Atrios" Black. "It's quite likely Rove has cut a deal of some sort. It's quite possible that Fitz's letter to Luskin, which hasn't been made public as far as I can tell, says something along the lines of 'as long as you cooperate as promised your ass is safe for now.' " Black's employer, Media Mutters, says maybe Rove will lose his security clearance for--well, for what isn't quite clear.

  • Anger. "He doesn't belong in the White House. If the president valued America more than he valued his connection to Karl Rove, Karl Rove would have been fired a long time ago," says Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean on the "Today" show. "So I think this is probably good news for the White House, but it's not very good news for America."

  • Despair. "My Heart Is Broken, My Spirit Crushed, My Faith in America Destroyed," declares "Dementer" on DemocraticUnderground.com. "On the other hand, I am sure that there are numerous other criminal enterprises that Kkkarl [sic] has participated in, so we just have to keep digging. Perhaps Fitz is doing just that--he has the license to do so. Or am I approaching the definition of insanity, here?"

  • Acceptance. "I think the chances are nil that Luskin is making this up since that'd be practically daring Patrick Fitzgerald to indict his client," says Josh Marshall, who had been one of the most credulous cheerleaders. "Whatever else he may be . . ., he's no fool." Though Marshall must be feeling quite foolish for having been one of Wilson's most enthusiastic and credulous cheerleaders way back when.

Drudge notes that many Angry Left Web sites have been strangely quiet, though MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who according to Drudge has predicted Rove's indictment at least 26 times, does comment: "It is the 'Perfect Storm' of baseball scandals."